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Title Image: The Horse
Jim Pike Jockey

 Jim Pike

Thirty rides for twenty seven wins! Jim Pike's extraordinary record aboard Phar Lap speaks for itself. Pike was regarded as the best jockey of his generation: as having an intuitive sense of pace. In turn, Pike regarded Phar Lap as a freak galloper. The pair got on famously. When aboard the champion, Pike seldom had to do any more than flick his whip in Phar Lap's general direction.

Pike was very popular with punters for his riding skills and personality, even though his own biographer described him as 'about as talkative as the wrong side of a tombstone'. Physically he was tall for a jockey, and the continual wasting he endured to make the weights made his face gaunt. He was widely acknowledged as a generous man, but that is not what led Jim Pike to die penniless after a lifetime of winning the big races: despite the rules that jockeys were not supposed to bet, he was a famously large and unsuccessful punter.

© Museum Victoria Australia